Why Learn German So you already have some perfectly good reasons for learning German Maybe you want to be able to communicate with relatives, or to travel to Germany during your summer break, or prepare yourself for study in a German-speaking country. Maybe a German exchange student sparked your interest, or you have a friend who recommended it, or you just like the way the language sounds. Just in case you need some reassurance in your decision or the final push toward taking the plunge, here are twelve more solid reasons why learning German may be a good choice for you.
Why Learn German 1. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. It's no wonder, since Germany's 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. But not only the residents of Germany speak German. It is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. And it is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Romania, as well as in other parts of Europe. While learning German can connect you to 120 million native speakers around the globe, remember that many people also learn German as a second language. It is the 3rd most popular foreign language taught worldwide and the second most popular in Europe and Japan, after English.
Why Learn German 2. Germany has the 3rd strongest economy and is the number one export nation in the world. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the economic powerhouse of the European Union. In 2007 – forthe 5th year in a row and despite the strength of the euro currency – theGermans were world champions in exports. The country exported 940 billion US dollars worth of goods, just ahead of the US exports. From cars to machinery and industrial equipment, from pharmaceuticals to household goods, German businesses earn 1 in 3 Euros through export, and 1 in 4 jobs depends on exports. The competitiveness and desirability of German products on the market are indicated by the country's substantial trade surplus, which reached 162 billion Euros (209 billion dollars) in 2006 and continues to grow every year.
Why Learn German 3. Knowing German creates business opportunities. Germany's economic strength equals business opportunities. Multinational business opportunities exist throughout the European Union and in the Eastern European countries, where German is the second most spoken language after Russian. Companies like BMW, Daimler, Siemens, Lufthansa, SAP, Bosch, Infineon, BASF, and many others need international partners. The Japanese, who have the 2nd most powerful economy in the world, understand the business advantages that a knowledge of German will bring them: 68% of Japanese students study German.
Why Learn German 4. Germans are innovators. From Gutenberg's printing press to Hertz' discovery of electromagnetic waves, from Ehrlich's development of chemotherapy to Einstein's theory of relativity, to Brandenburg's creation of the MP3 digital music format, throughout history Germans have proven themselves time and again to be great innovators. That trend continues today. Four of the world's Ten most innovative companies are located in Germany and at 12.7% of the world's patent applications, the country ranks 3rd in the world. Consequently, 200,000 businesses introduce new products on the market each year. The German Daniel Fahrenheit developed the mercurythermometer in 1714.
Why Learn German 4. Germans are innovators. As a nation committed to research and development, Germans are on the frontline of new technologies. Germany exports more high-tech products than any other country except the U.S. and more than 600 firms are active in the cutting-edge field of biotechnology. 115 of these are located in Munich alone. The east German city of Dresden has become Europe's microchip center with its more than 765 semiconductor firms Given the Germans' commitment to innovation, it is perhaps not surprising that two-thirds of the world's leading international trade fairs take place in Germany. These include CeBIT, the world's largest trade fair for information and communications technology, and the IFA consumer electronics trade fair.
Why Learn German Germans are the biggest spenders of tourist dollars in the world. While German workers are highly productive, it is clear that they know how to play just as hard as they work. With ample disposable income and an average of 6 weeks of vacation a year, Germans have the time and the means to travel, ... and they do! If you are a world traveler, you are certain to encounter Germans wherever you go since nearly 3 out of every 4 vacations by Germans are spent in other countries. In 2007, they spent a record 91 billion Euros on international travel. Year after year, the residents of Germany spend more on foreign travel than those of any other nation.
Why Learn German Germans are the biggest spenders of tourist dollars in the world. Germans especially favor travel to warm Mediterranean climates, such as can be found in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, and travel to Eastern European countries is increasing in popularity. Germans also readily travel to Africa, the Far East, and the Americas.1.2 million German tourists visited the U.S. in 2003, making Germans the third largest nationality of tourists to the United States (after the British and Japanese). The most popular U.S. destinations are California, Florida, and New York. Travel agencies, tour companies, hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies that can communicate with Germans in their own language will win their business.
Why Learn German 6. The German presence on the Internet super cedes most others. Considering what great innovators the Germans are, it's not at all surprising that they maintain a dominant Internet presence. With 8 million Internet domains, Germany's top-level country domain .de is second only to the extension .com. That makes German domain names even more popular than those with .net, .org, .info, and .biz extensions. Even the second-place country extension .uk trails far behind at 3.7 million domain names.
Why Learn German 7. 1 in 10 books in the world is published in German German is not only a language of the past. As prolific researchers and scholars, German speakers produce nearly 80,000 new book titles each year. The only language markets that produce more books annually are the Chinese and English publishing industries. In number of books published, Munich is second in the world only to New York. Since only a small percentage of German books are translated into other languages (for instance, approximately 10% into Korean and Chinese, just over 5% into English), only a knowledge of German will give you access to a vast majority of these titles.
Why Learn German 8. German-speaking countries have a rich cultural heritage. Apart from their many contributions to American culture, the German speakers have a rich cultural heritage in their own right. Germany is often referred to as the land of "Dichter und Denker”–ofpoets and thinkers. And rightly so, because German contributions to the arts and human thought have been nothing short of profound. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, and Hermann Hesse are just a few authors whose names and works are well-known internationally. 10 Nobel prizes for literature have been awarded to German, Austrian, and Swiss German authors. The world of classical music is inseparable from the names of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, and Wagner to name only a few renowned German-speaking composers. Vienna remains an international center of music today. From the magnificent architecture of medieval buildings to the avantgarde Bauhaus movement, from Dürer's woodcuts to the expressionist masterpieces of Nolde, Kirchner, and Kokoschka, Germans have made substantial contributions to world art and architecture.
Why Learn German 8. German-speaking countries have a rich cultural heritage. Philosophy and the sciences would also be unthinkable without the contributions of German speakers. The philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and numerous others have had lasting influences on modern society. The psychologists Freud and Jung forever changed the way we think about human behavior. Scientists from the three major German-speaking countries have won dozens of Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine. Knowing German allows you to access the works of these people in their original language and to fully understand the culture whence they derived. Anyone interested in these fields automatically expands her knowledge and skill by knowing German. Goethe's Faust is one of the world's great literary masterpieces.
Why Learn German 9. German is required or recommended by many undergraduate and graduate programs. German speakers' strong contributions in such a broad array of fields makes the language an important asset in many disciplines. At the University of California, for instance, more majors recommend a knowledge of German as an important supplement than any other language (German: 56 majors, French: 43 majors, Spanish: 21 majors, Japanese: 7 majors). These majors include a wide range of subjects – frombiology, physics, and chemistry to linguistics, religious studies, and art history. Considering the importance of the German language in the fields of publishing and research, it's not surprising that many graduate schools want their graduates to have at least a reading knowledge of German. Knowing German gives graduates access to important research published in German books and professional journals.
Why Learn German 10.Germany financially sponsors over 60,000 international exchanges each year. While promoting innovation and supporting research within Germany, the Germans also recognize that international cooperation and experience is essential to its continued success as a world leader. In the year 2001 alone, the German Academic Exchange Service supported 67,000 scholars, scientists, educators, and students in periods of international research and study. 43% of these were foreigners who were awarded financial assistance to participate in an exchange in Germany. In addition, like German students, foreign students directly enrolled in German universities pay no tuition fees.
Why Learn German 11. German is not as hard as you think. If you already know English, then you already have an advantage when it comes to learning German. Because modern German and modern English both evolved from the common ancestor language Germanic, the two languages share many similarities in both vocabulary and grammar.
Why Learn German 11. German is not as hard as you think. If you understand any of this ... MeineSchwester hat braunesHaar. Sieist intelligent. SiestudiertMedizin in Berlin. Siekann gut singen. ... then you already know some German! In addition, German is spelled phonetically. Once you learn the system of sounds, it is easy to predict how the spoken word is written and how the written word is pronounced.
Why Learn German Anyone who has told you that learning German is impractical, unrewarding, or simply a waste of your precious time is doing you a great disservice, forget it. You really don’t need to believe in him/her. Take advantage and enhance your life ... LEARN German!